Sunday, January 12, 2014

REWARDING YOURSELF for GOALS MET

It takes a while for me to compile a list of goals each year. The list isn’t just a Jack Sparrow “guideline” of wishes and hopes and dreams, but of specific plans to accomplish tasks and projects. I need to know where I’m going and how I plan to get there.

There are major goals interspersed with small, quickly accomplished goals on the list, so I don’t get discouraged by lengthy projects that require weeks or months to complete. The lengthy projects are broken down into bite-sized steps, also to keep frustration at a minimum. The purpose is to keep moving forward, even when something seemingly drags me backwards. With an eye always focused on the end results, even when moving backwards I don’t lose sight of that Hawaiian Heritage bracelet.
What does a Hawaiian Heritage bracelet have to do with my 2014 goals? Ah, but everything.
When I decided to write my Pepper Bibeau mystery series, the name I conjured up for my protagonist was Kai-Ena Lehua Bibeau. To cement the name, I purchased a Hawaiian Heritage bracelet with the name “Kai-Ena” scrolled in black on its face. After I published my first novel, FOR EVERY ACTION, I purchased a second Hawaiian Heritage bracelet. One of my favorite flowers, the hibiscus, highlights the band’s design.

One thing that is true of Hawai'i, and of women's fashion, you can never have too many bracelets!
In 2013, after publishing my third Pepper Bibeau mystery, WITH FIERY VENGEANCE, which is set in Hawaii, I wanted to purchase another bracelet. After all, along with 13 other authors, I had also compiled and published MYSTERY IN PARADISE 13 Tales of Suspense in November, 2013. But other goals for 2013 eliminated the possibility.

That means accomplishing my 2014 goals must include such a reward, and therefore becomes a goal within itself. A win-win situation!

You do reward yourself for meeting your goals, don't you, major as well as small or quick accomplishments?

Monday, January 6, 2014

BENEFITS OF BEING ON A BREAK (From Writing)



Taking a break every so often from any project or situation, to clear your head and make room for fresh ideas, should be beneficial, even rejuvenating. Remember the FRIENDS episode when Ross thought he and Rachel were on a break from their relationship and nothing that happened (with another woman) during the break counted? You know how that worked out, not a good example of a beneficial break.

Taking a break from writing doesn’t mean your activities during the break won’t benefit your writing. To a writer, every experience is beneficial, everything counts.
A break becomes especially important after writing or editing over a long period of time. Focusing on other projects or activities gives the subconscious time to relax, and allows new creative concepts to surface.
With that in mind, I looked forward to spending time with family who were visiting during the end of 2013 and the first week of 2014. Plans were set for such diverse activities as whale watching, Island sightseeing, climbing to the top of Diamond Head, touring Pearl Harbor to experience the Arizona Memorial and the “Might Mo” (the battleship Missouri where the World War II peace treaty was signed,) and a wedding at Sacred Heart Church in Honolulu with a reception at Turtle Bay on the North Shore.
It is no mystery that the possibilities for future story settings that arose over the break were endless. Every conversation suggested a way to breathe new life into a unique character, each sunset offered a brilliant new mix of colors to improve a scene. Now I look forward to rereading those fifty thousand words I wrote in November, and am eagerly anticipating the research that will flesh out the story.